It has been a difficult time for many people in dairy farming, but there is also positive news to create confidence about Victoria’s dairy industry’s future.
In December 2017, the Victorian Government helped secure a $24.5 million expansion of Burra Foods in a project that will increase exports and create 39 new jobs. The investment will develop a blending and canning facility at Korumburra, representing a significant new investment in manufacturing and value adding in the Victorian dairy industry.
The expansion will allow Burra Foods to expand into higher value manufacturing by shifting up the value chain in the nutritional powders division, resulting in new export business in China, Japan and the ASEAN markets.
Leigh Kennedy from Regional Development Victoria’s Gippsland office says, “Burra Foods is the largest employer in Korumburra and an important business for the South Gippsland economy.”
“Regional Development Victoria’s assistance with getting this project off the ground coincided with Murray Goulburn’s reduction of jobs from its Leongatha plant – so these new jobs at Burra Foods will be well suited to employees who were made redundant from Murray Goulburn”, she says.
“Not only does this help keep an industry thriving in the region, it helps individuals get back on their feet and stay living in the community, and not have to leave to find work – a great outcome,” says Leigh.
RDV Gippsland’s Investment and Trade team worked closely with the Executive Management of Burra Foods to secure this investment in Korrumburra, with Victorian Government financial assistance provided from the Regional Jobs Fund – Investment Attraction Stream.
The project will enable Burra Foods to shift production of milk powder in bulk (25kg bags) to consumer packs (400 gram and 800 gram cans) suitable for specific export markets such as China.
It will also enable increased production of other powdered milk products including adult, student and pregnancy powders, as well as high protein skim and full cream milk, which will maximise the revenue and economy of scale from the existing manufacturing equipment.
The $24.5 million project will deliver:
- A new building to house the canning and repacking lines
- Plant and equipment for powder handling and blending
· Utility and external road infrastructure upgrades
“This is a very important project for South Gippsland – it will increase profits from exports as it becomes further incorporated into a global supply chain, leading to the potential for better milk pricing for dairy farmers and suppliers too”, says Leigh.